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eXistenZ (1999)

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A game designer on the run from assassins must play her latest virtual reality creation with a marketing trainee to determine if the game has been damaged.

Director:

David Cronenberg
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Popularity
4,375 ( 191)
3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jennifer Jason Leigh ... Allegra Geller
Jude Law ... Ted Pikul
Ian Holm ... Kiri Vinokur
Willem Dafoe ... Gas
Don McKellar ... Yevgeny Nourish
Callum Keith Rennie ... Hugo Carlaw
Christopher Eccleston ... Seminar Leader
Sarah Polley ... Merle
Robert A. Silverman ... D'Arcy Nader
Oscar Hsu ... Chinese Waiter
Kris Lemche ... Noel Dichter
Vik Sahay ... Male Assistant
Kirsten Johnson ... Female Assistant
James Kirchner James Kirchner ... Landry
Balázs Koós Balázs Koós ... Male Volunteer
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Storyline

Allegra Geller, the leading game designer in the world, is testing her new virtual reality game, eXistenZ with a focus group. As they begin, she is attacked by a fanatic assassin employing a bizarre organic gun. She flees with a young marketing trainee, Ted Pikul, who is suddenly assigned as her bodyguard. Unfortunately, her pod, an organic gaming device that contains the only copy of the eXistenZ game program, is damaged. To inspect it, she talks Ted into accepting a gameport in his own body so he can play the game with her. The events leading up to this, and the resulting game lead the pair on a strange adventure where reality and their actions are impossible to determine from either their own or the game's perspective. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Play it. Live it. Kill for it. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sci-fi violence and gore, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Canada | UK | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 April 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Existenz See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

CAD 31,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£362,864 (United Kingdom), 2 May 1999, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$810,262, 25 April 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,840,417, 20 June 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (workprint)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

David Cronenberg claimed his inspiration for the film, was the fatwa declared on Author Salman Rushdie, following the publication of his book "The Satanic Verses". See more »

Goofs

When Pikul is extracting the tooth from Allegra's shoulder, the sleeve of her top is rolled down. In the next shot after it comes out, her shoulder is covered again, but Pikul's hand resting on it hasn't moved. (There are deliberate costume discontinuities in this movie, when the characters shift in and out of eXistenZ, but this isn't one of them.) See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Seminar Leader: eXistenZ. Written like this. One word. Small 'E', capital 'X', capital 'Z'. 'eXistenZ'. It's new, it's from Antenna Research, and it's here... right now.
See more »

Connections

References Red Dwarf (1988) See more »

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User Reviews

Get ready for one wild ride!
25 April 1999 | by DeleriumSee all my reviews

By far the most bizarre and inventive films from David Cronenberg, and a film that is sure to become a cult classic. The story cannot easily be summarized in a small review without spoiling the movie completely, so you'll have to see it for yourself.

The special effects are well done, but thankfully not overdone. The film relies mainly on the chemistry between Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jude Law, who plug in and out of the game throughout the movie, and what is actually the real world become less clear as the movie goes on. The violence and carnage, which Cronenberg has become famous for, certainly catches you off guard at times. In fact, some scenes will send a shiver up your spine. The acting is superb, with Jennifer Jason Leigh playing a convincing hero, while Jude Law is excellent as the uneasy, often unwilling participant in her mind-boggling game. Willem Dafoe is, as always, a treat to watch as the mysterious, intimidating, and off-the-wall characters he is so good at playing.

eXistenZ is the most unusual Cronenberg film to date, and that is saying something when comparing to his earlier movies like Shivers, Scanners, and Videodrome. It has a great script, great direction, and the idea behind the film is pure gold. Cronenberg is definitely one of the most daring and original directors of our time.


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